According to the latest research cocoa teems with antioxidants that prevent cancer--twice the punch of antioxidants found in red wine and up to three times those found in green tea.
"If I had made a prediction before conducting the tests," says Chang Lee, chair of the Department of Food Science at SUNY Agricultural Station in Geneva, "I would have picked green tea as having the most antioxidant activity, but when we compared one serving of each beverage, the cocoa turned out to the be highest in antioxidant activity.
Lee and his colleagues used two chemical tests that measured how well the cocoa compounds scavenge for free radicals--agents that cause cancer, heart disease and other ailments.
Faced with the confusing prospect of drinking red wine or green tea or cocoa, Lee suggests enjoying all three in different parts of the day.
"Personally," Lee says, "I would drink hot cocoa in the morning, green tea in the afternoon and a glass of red wine in the evening. That's a good combination."